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Wing Loong II UAV being developed for diverse roles

The Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) is improving the capabilities of its Wing Loong II unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to handle multiple applications.

During a recent flight demonstration of the UAV for the state-owned newspaper, Global Times , Li Yidong, chief designer at AVIC Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), said the applications of the Wing Loong series of UAVs “are still expanding”.

The demonstration showed the Wing Loong II's ability to climb, cruise, and operate at low altitude. Li said, “In the future, the [UAVs] will integrate with new technologies, including 5G+, industrial internet, artificial intelligence, and big data, and promote more highly efficient applications in more fields together with the whole industrial chain, such as scientific investigation, mapping, and logistics”.

The demonstration was conducted at AVIC's Zigong Aviation Industrial Park, according to state-owned media.

Janes assessed video imagery of the demonstration event, which included flights by at least two variants of the Wing Loong II UAV. This includes AVIC's Ganlin-1, a version of the Wing Loong II used for “weather modification operations”. Equipped with six pods, including a flame-emitting system for ionisation, this UAV is being used for cloud seeding and to measure meteorological conditions. The second UAV flown was a combat variant of the Wing Loong II with a specialised jammer pod. Janes has assessed that this pod comprises a wideband jammer operating in the 0.5–40 GHz range.

These trials are almost certainly part of AVIC's ambition to adapt the Wing Loong II for multiple applications by integrating diverse payloads. Li acknowledged this to the Global Times when he said that AVIC's UAVs will be subject to “technical differentiation” and that “different genres of UAVs will have different applications”.

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